How I wrote a book in 30 days

Waris Hussain
4 min readApr 4, 2021

[ March 3, 2021. 8 AM ]I woke up to the ring of my phone. Kovid called me and asked me if I wanted to co-author a book along with him. Kovid is my close friend and we both are huge advocates of Productivity. We both keep learning things about productivity, we experiment with new productivity methods and always try out the productivity tools.

So when he asked me to co-author a guide book on Productivity, I couldn’t say No.

“Amateurs know that contributing something is better than contributing nothing” ~Austin Kleon

With this in mind, I set out on my journey.

The rest of that day was full of countless calls with Kovid. We dedicated the entire day to Organization. We organized everything — our ideas, our thoughts, all that we know and all that we are going to do. We also decided that we will document everything. (Links to the same will be embedded throughout this article)

Our book. Get it on Amazon here

We divided all the work to do in 4 weeks.

Weekly breakdown

Week 1

Week 1 started with organization and lots and lots of planning.

The goal for week 1 was to organise and make a system for ourselves — a system for our collaboration, communication, writing, and even promoting(which we did later in week 3–4)

We used Airtable to stay on top of everything, to organize and list down all our tasks and make sure we’re not missing out on anything.

We used Miro, an exceptional collaborating software, to brain-dump everything we know about productivity, and organize those thoughts and ideas into different sections and chapters.

(Kovid has made a documentation of How we used Miro, read it here)

So we used Miro and Airtable, but this is what mostly comprised the start of the week. By the end, almost all of our time was spent in Google Docs — Jotting down those ideas in a meaningful and structured way.

Week 2

At the start of Week 2, we had these two goals in mind — to write as much as possible and to start promotion. If we wrote maximum content here, we could save time for promotion later in the second half.

For Promotion, we started an Instagram account (@30daystoabook) and planned all the content in yet another Airtabe database.
The Airtable database contained everything to be posted — content, graphics, captions and even hashtags.

For the rest of the week, we kept our head down and wrote as much as possible. We used the principles and techniques taught in the book itself to write effectively and get more done in less time.
(Basically, we used Productivity to write about Productivity :P)

We also created content for Instagram, and LinkedIn as well.

Week 3

Having that productive workflow to write was really helping us, we didn’t have much problem in writing, but we needed to research the marketing of the book.

We finished writing and editing and it took us a total of 21 days to do so.

So, we can safely say that we “wrote” the book in 21 days 😃

And after that, our focus was entirely on Publishing.

Kovid told me Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is the best way to self-publish as well as market the book. He did the entire research on this and taught me along the way as well!

(The best part for you, everything’s documented! Here’s the documentation for Publishing and Marketing on KDP).

We uploaded the final manuscript and designed a Book Cover (Having an eye for design helped here 😉)

Week 4

The book was published. It’s available on Amazon. But the project isn’t finished here. We had to market it and sell it.

Both Kovid and I used Instagram stories to promote the book

From my Instagram Archive

We practised some different approaches to promoting the book as well, on different platforms like LinkedIn, Reddit, and Slack Groups.

Things I learned

Publishing a book is not just writing, but a lot of things come into the equation.

I was co-authoring along with Kovid, so it was important for us to communicate well and stay on the same page. We are two different individuals with different ideas, thoughts, different writing style and knowledge base. We had to combine all our best ideas and put them in a meaningful way, with a smooth flow between chapters.

Organizing well and creating a system for ourselves really helped us keep track of everything and complete the book within the deadline we gave ourselves.

We also got better at long-form writing in short deadlines, collaboration, social media promotion, and self-publishing!

Final words

It’s been an incredible journey these past 4 weeks in trying to co-author the book.

Both of us learnt a lot and had the amazing opportunity to showcase what we learnt.

The feedback we received was positive and the whole process has motivated us to put those skills learnt to use!

And thank you for sticking around for this journey — it’s been a great pleasure to have you here!

Got anything to say? Comment down below, or reach us out here — Kovid & Waris

And, get the book here!

Or, here if you’re outside of India!

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Waris Hussain

I'm a User Experience Designer, a curious soul always keen to learn as much as possible. Here to share what I've learnt and get better at life.